ILH Baseball
No. 7 Warriors clutch up past No. 2 Crusaders


  



Tue, Apr 23, 2019 @ [ 6:30 pm ]


FINAL 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Kamehameha 0 003020590
Saint Louis 0 0 00100173

W: Dylan Rawlins    L: Richard Vidal III

STL: Jacob Thomas Navyac 1-3 dbl; Richard Vidal III 7.0 IP 2 ER 8 K
KSK: Hanu Racoma 2-3 run rbi trp; Dylan Rawlins 7.0 ER 1 ER 9 K


WAIPAHU — The baseball season is winding down with two weeks away from the state tournament, and first-year Kamehameha coach Daryl Kitagawa's Warriors might be finding their stride.

Winners of six out of the last seven from the end of March, No. 7 Kamehameha finds itself now one game away from clinching a state championships berth after clutching past third-ranked Saint Louis, 5-1, Tuesday evening at Hans L'Orange Park to advance to the Interscholastic League of Honolulu second round double elimination tournament final.

Senior pitcher Kapono Rawlins grabbed his first complete-game win after scattering seven hits, striking out a season-high nine batters and not giving up a single walk.

"The off-speed was just working today," Rawlins said. "It was a really big dub for us. Every game is important but today just boosted our confidence. We've been doing really good these past three games."

The Warriors are coming off two shutout victories over Mid-Pacific and first-round ILH winner Punahou, and now they await the winner of Saint Louis and Mid-Pacific/Iolani in the second round tournament final and will have to be beaten twice to be eliminated.

"We've been battling ourselves throughout the year, up and down, but I always felt our pitching would hopefully put us in a position to be where we are," Kitagawa said. "It's a credit to the kids, our whole team for buying in and trusting what we're trying to do."

It was scoreless through the first three and a half innings when Kamehameha put itself in prime position to score after back-to-back singles from Beau Sylvester and Hanu Racoma. Paa Elarionoff attempted to bunt the runners over but Saint Louis pitcher Richie Vidal III sailed on the throw to first base, bringing Sylvester across for the first run. Then a batter later, Javyn Pimental — who got the win on the rubber against Punahou — cleared the bases on a two RBI drive to center field to make it a 3-0 lead.

The Crusaders responded in the bottom of the fifth when Noah Tory's two-out single brought Jonah Zembik home.

But the Warriors plated their final two runs in the top of the sixth with Sylvester again leading the inning off with a single, Racoma following with a triple and the No. 9 spot hitting in another run, this time by Keaka Barrozo.

Rawlins then put out the final six Saint Louis batters in order to end the game with a backwards ‘K' for his third win of the season. A year ago, he had made all of just three appearances on the mound.

"I lifted a lot in the off-season and worked a lot on my off-speed. Just working on my change-up, changing the grips to get different movement and then trying to break my curve ball more," Rawlins said.

After competing in kayaking, he gave up paddling in the winter season to focus and commit more on baseball.

"I think he came in and wanted to be the guy maybe and worked his butt off," Kitagawa said. "We got 10 pitchers so all of them challenge and compete each other day in and day out. Again, it's a credit to the kids."

Vidal also went the distance for the Crusaders and set a season-high of eight strikeouts but let up a high of nine hits and still only gave up two earned runs.

Saint Louis finished No. 2 in the ILH first round and is also just one win away from clinching a spot in next month's Wally Yonamine/HHSAA Division I State Championships on Maui. They await the winner of Wednesday's game between Mid-Pacific and Iolani. Regardless of who wins the second round, they will have to play Punahou for the overall league crown.



Reach Spencer Honda at [email protected].


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